Lectures

The “macrobiotics friends association”: nurturing life amidst chronic disease in Vietnam

This article is part of the series:

“I will never return to that Zone of Death! You too should try to follow this diet to nurture life.” Aunt Minh[i](Fieldwork notes, February 2018)

We first met Aunt Minh and Aunt Khai a few days after the Vietnamese Lunar New Year in early 2018 during our first field research trip to “Xóm sống vui” (“Happy life village”) …

Lectures

Punctuated Lives – Staying Healthy with Lynch Syndrome

This article is part of the series:

Every two years, a letter from the Gastroenterology unit drops into Maria’s mailbox. It is a call to attend her regular surveillance colonoscopy to check for potential precancerous polyps which are very likely to grow in Maria’s colon. Maria has Lynch Syndrome, an inherited genetic mutation in one of the mismatch repair genes (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2) that significantly …

Lectures

(Dis)continuities in cancer care: An ethnographic approximation to practices of disease stratification

Background:

Disease stratification practices have long been used as a means to produce and make sense of  cancer, distinguishing ‘types’, tumour development stages, and even patients’ sociodemographic profiles. However, interest in stratification; that is, the process of dividing oncology populations into clinically meaningful subtypes, has been re-invigorated by two recent developments in medicine and healthcare. First, an increased awareness of …

Features

(Un)Categorizing Albinism

This article is part of the series:

“Everything started with a little spot in the head, right up [by] my right ear! I don’t even remember the precise day or week I discovered it. Instead, I remember that it still hurts and I have a persistent headache!” Fadhili said with a feeble voice brightened by a soft smile. As our discussion of his health continued, he kept …

Features

Cancer Culture avant la lettre

In the class I teach on illness narratives, cancer comes after the plague. In the realm of representation and cultural memory, infectious diseases have a long visual and allegorical pedigree. Pestilence is always already more than an epidemiological reality. With cancer culture things are different. A cursory search for early modern images of cancer in the U.S. National Library of …

Books

Sharon Batt’s Health Advocacy Inc. How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement

Health Advocacy Inc. How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement

Sharon Batt

UBC Press, 2017, 383 pages

 

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, Sharon Batt became of the one the most prominent figures of the grassroots breast cancer movement that flourished in North America during the 1990s. A committed journalist and editor working mainly for feminist …